Florida – A Florida man and woman have been sentenced for their involvement in a complex scheme defrauding Medicare of over $93 million. According to the DOJ, this case involved false billing for non-existent home health therapy services.
The central figures in this fraud were Karel Felipe, 42, from Miami Shores, and Tamara Quicutis, 54, from Hialeah. Felipe received an eight-year and four-month prison sentence, while Quicutis was sentenced to five years and 10 months. Both were convicted in October 2023 after a jury trial found them guilty of conspiring to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and conspiring to commit money laundering. The court also mandated the forfeiture of the proceeds gained from their fraudulent activities.
Court documents and trial evidence revealed that Felipe and Quicutis collaborated with others to submit false bills to Medicare for three home health companies based in Michigan. These companies were essentially fronts for their illegal activities. To conceal their identities and the true nature of their operation, the co-conspirators recruited individuals from Cuba to pose as owners of these agencies. They then submitted claims for services that were never rendered, using stolen patient identities.
The sophistication of their scheme was evident in their use of numerous shell companies and hundreds of bank accounts to launder the fraud proceeds. They converted these proceeds into cash through ATMs and check-cashing stores around Miami.
Other Sentenced Conspirators
Four other Florida residents were implicated and sentenced in this case. Jesus Trujillo, 52, from Miami, received a 14-year prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit over $44 million and two real properties. Didier Arcia, 44, from Davenport, was sentenced to six years and eight months. Alexey Gil, 41, from Miami, received a five-year and five-month sentence, while Jeffrey Avila, 33, also from Miami, was sentenced to time served and supervised release. Their guilty pleas ranged from conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
This case was brought to light thanks to the efforts of the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The prosecution team, comprising Trial Attorneys Jamie de Boer, D. Keith Clouser, and Emily Gurskis of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabrielle Raemy Charest-Turken, played a pivotal role in handling the case, especially in the aspect of asset forfeiture.